Friday, 31 October 2014

Why video presentations?

There are considerable challenges associated with the recent shift to large class lecture modes. Challenges surround the balance between the two extremes of teaching/learning design: from student-centred to teacher-centred learning. Student-centred learning becomes less feasible as class sizes increase. The predominant model for teaching incorporates student contributions to continuous assessment predominantly focused on classroom presentations and/or written reports. In addition lecturer provided materials are mainly in the form of slideware, complemented perhaps by a set text or reading list, and possibly combined with associated practical sessions in tutorials or workshops. However reduced student engagement is an inevitable consequence of lecturing to large classes of 150+ students coupled with reduced availability of tutoring resources.

The argument for video presentations

Video presentations address two gaps in the current situation facing taught programmes in the University. A shortage of time to listen to and discuss student presentations in class (noting that presentations also often overrun the allocated time). A shortage of digital media targeting specific curricula (University students may also contribute valuable sources of new research and analysis). We also aspire to provide students with 21st century communication and presentation skills encompassing digital media technologies (video, graphics, audio etc) beyond the basics of slide-ware tools. Exposure to video presentation enables students to develop personal competencies in digital media production and delivery. Student and lecturer generated digital media content has the potential to complement the taught components of our degree and masters programmes.

Video presentations can enhance student engagement and involvement by structuring the student's own hands-on experience by preparing independent research and presentations for on-line delivery. Digital capture and production tools also empower a students' ability to plan, design and create their own showcase their research projects. An anticipated benefit is that students will also acquire a practical understanding of advanced communication and media production.

Finally, locally generated material (in particular local Irish content) has the potential to make a pedagogical contribution that reflects and disseminates the unique situations and experiences (cases) of (for example) firms in Ireland. This sort of richly illustrated, enacted and narrated media associated with the goals of a particular course may inspire and challenge following classes and also perhaps be of interest to a global community.